"I never go Downtown," is a refrain we hear frequently in LA. For ocean+main, we love Downtown LA for all its color and splendor. Not only is it the garment center where our beautiful caftans and tunics are designed and sewn, it is also a dynamic, eclectic neighborhood full of amazing food, people, art and some of the best views in Southern California.
With so many places to list and new offerings popping up every day, we thought we would combine our fave's into a few not-to-be missed categories: Art, Places, Architecture and Views. The food options alone warrant's it's own list so check back soon!
So for those that never go downtown, here is what you are missing.
ground zero for LA's dynamic art scene.
(Street Artist Kim West Downtown LA)
Take a tour of historic and current street art with the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles. Weekly tours take you through some of the most iconic street art (think Shepard Fairey, Banksy and the like) as well as some of the original Chicano and Latino street art that arguably started it all. Fascinating.
Hauser, Wirth and Schimmel
For more of a traditional art gallery experince, the options abound downtown. Visit The Broad, MOCA, The Geffen Contemporary, or Hauser Wirth and Schimmel to see some of the most renowned contemporary art in the world. Check the websites for dates and tickets as opening times and availability vary. You can't go wrong as both the permanent collections and new exhibits curated in each of the spaces won't disappoint.
Craving a trip abroad? A trip downtown could be all you need. A true melting pot of cultures, East meets West in a 15 block radius. Check out Olvera Street for a taste of true Mexican culture.
In Chinatown you'll get great dim sum and after hours fun including summer concerts with "paper" fireworks.
Visit Little Toyko for authentic noodles and tiny shops with plenty of fascinating and beautifully packaged Japanese confectionary.
The Last Book Store feels like exactly that, the last book store. In a world of digital publishing and on-line shopping, the tactile experience and smell of a well-stocked book store is a treat. Shop for rare, out of print books or just browse the curiosities like the old bank vault where they stock the crime novels (of course).
The Last Book Store
As curiosities go, Clifton's Cafeteria is a must-see. From a by-gone era, imagine if the Disney ride "It's a small world' was in a forest. And, it had a restaurant. Clifton's would be it. Revamped in 2015 with three floors of oddities to explore, dine in a tree well or at least have a drink in the Gothic Tiki bar next to a massive meteorite and stuffed bear. Bring friends.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Overlooked is the The Los Angeles Public Library The beautiful second floor rotundra alone is worth the trip and be sure to check the website for events. You never know when a literary luminary or celebrity writer will stop in for a scheduled reading. It is LA, after all.
Los Angeles Public Library
Union Station offers a beautiful peak into LA's commuter past when glamorous trains, not cars, brought dreamers to and from the City of Angels.
The Music Center with the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and the Mark Taper Forum are a double dose a classic Mid-Century architecture. Even if you don't see a world-class performance, the buildings themselves are a work of art and worth the visit.
Mark Taper Forum
Visit the Los Angeles Cathedral, an impressive structure with nod to the city's history and it's growing future. Aptly named Our Lady of the Angeles, the time to visit the cathedral is Wedensdays at 12:45 when you'll be treated to a free weekly organ concert.
In addition to these and other iconic buildings, not to be missed are some of LA's greatest treasures: the oft overlooked moldings, window details and entryways of the city's early architects. Take a moment on a simple walk down the street to simply look up. These small, but beautiful wonders rival the architectual details of any major city in the world. Are we biased? Yes.
Los Angeles Cathedral
With it's canyons, beaches and hills, Los Angeles is definitely a photogenic place, but Downtown offers a perpective of it's own in an impressive collection of rooftop bars and restaurants. For a true top-of-the-world experience, don't miss the Spire 73 Bar at the Interconinental Hotel. From Malibu to Chavez Ravine, this is a 360 degree view of LA not to be missed.
The Ace Hotel
Check out the websites for special rooftop events like beer gardens, outdoor movies and special musical guests. Again, it is LA and you never know who may pop in!